Place talk:Plymouth (colony)


Colonial Status [20 November 2012]

The hierarchical list of places in England includes 635 places within Plymouth Colony which are "also contained" in England.

Why is [[Place:Plymouth Colony, Kingdom of England]] to be found amongst places located in England? If it is appropriate that Plymouth Colony is/was considered to be a place in England, why are there no other references under England for the other 12 original American colonies, for places in post-1784 British North America, or for places in Australia and New Zealand?

--goldenoldie 17:01, 3 November 2012 (EDT)

See "how do I title American Colonies" in the place page FAQ. --jrm03063 18:06, 5 November 2012 (EST)
Thank you JRM, I didn't know that FAQ item existed. Goldenoldie, I don't know the history behind the decision to allow these place pages, nor do I fully understand why they would be allowed. I would suggest leaving a message on the Watercooler. There will be more users watching that page who would be able to help. --Jennifer (JBS66) 07:08, 6 November 2012 (EST)

Jennifer Your message wasn't advised to me by email although I thought I had all appropriate pages ticked for watching. I got brave just now and removed the "Also located" line from Plymouth Colony (just the one place page) and this has followed through to the 635 "hangers on". I assume that "Kingdom of England" was a place name designed for the purpose and takes the time scale into consideration.

I may put a slight revision of the second para of my original question on the Watercooler tomorrow. Too late for the brain tonight. It's worth people thinking about. --goldenoldie 16:40, 6 November 2012 (EST)


The Oversight Committee discussed this recently, and our consensus was that those colonies which cannot be unified with entities from 1900 (of English colonies, that probably means Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay) should probably be top-level entities (like Scotland and Wales) and that we should investigate whether the Kingdom of England could be unified with England. But now I see that we have the whole set of historical entities which purport to be the top-level domains for the British Isles. --Pkeegstra 21:04, 17 November 2012 (EST)


I don't know how best to proceed here. The underlying principles are

  • We don't want a multitude of place pages.
  • We want to allow people to record places as they appear in records.

In order to achieve both of these principles, the approach has been that we don't create multiple place pages for places that cover essentially the same geographic area, and that we title places according to the jurisdictional hierarchy in which they appeared around 1900, with other hierarchies recorded as also-located-in places.

Given this, how do we proceed here?--Dallan 12:25, 20 November 2012 (EST)

By "here", do you mean the pages for various colonies, or the pages for the various entities which constituted the top-level domains for the British Isles.

I have a fairly clear vision for the colonies. The ones which can be identified with states should be, and the ones which can't should be top-level domains. I was waiting for a bit of feedback before undertaking that.

n.b. this directly contradicts the paragraphs in the FAQ, which use Connecticut as an example of a colony which cannot be unified, and locate it under "Kingdom of England". (I looked in the page history for Place:Connecticut (colony), Kingdom of England at the elided text in case it explained why it could not be unified, but saw nothing of that sort. So I stand by my opinion that it can be unified. For those aware of the Connecticut Western Reserve, if that is considered, that can be done independently of Connecticut proper, i.e. a historical territory under "United States".)

The domains for the British Isles are a different matter. I think they miss the point of the "1900 rule", but since the British Isles aren't one of my particular geographic areas of interest and expertise, I was deferring to those who were.

P.S. Are all occurrences of "US Navy" under "United States" improper use of the place field like this? All the territories listed under "United States" are probably candidates for unification; "Louisiana Purchase" is a plausible candidate for a distinct identity like the "Western Reserve".

--Pkeegstra 12:55, 20 November 2012 (EST)


I'm not persuaded that there's much value in the pre-1900 political divisions of the English Colonies. There are rare situations where the near present day location is not easy to decipher from the colonial era location - but this is rare. More commonly, use of the colonial era divisions seems more apt to create confusion than to avoid it. But I'll offer the following suggestion to guide us for the moment:
Try to use the 1900 convention whenever possible (it's a convention not a rule). Feel free to depart from the convention on a case-by-case basis, if following the convention seems more apt engender than to resolve confusion. If departing, try to use the most descriptive location terms possible (from whatever era), and source the situation profusely. We could also create a category for pages that contain such departures from the 1900 convention, so that we can review such choices later.
At some future date, when we have a good body of actual cases to study, we revisit the question. --jrm03063 13:06, 20 November 2012 (EST)
The approach in the above paragraph works for me. I'll leave it to the others watching this page to determine the best course of action.--Dallan 14:38, 20 November 2012 (EST)

I just checked the status of "Isle of Man" and "Bermuda", and they are both top-level domains with a type of "Dependant state". So absent objections, I'll go ahead and do the analogous for historical colonies, and update the FAQ accordingly. --Pkeegstra 14:59, 20 November 2012 (EST)

I'm stuck on Dominion of New England in America. Many of the references to it seem to be non-historical, just using it as an equivalent for "New England" since we have no other definition for "New England". Two possibilities:

  • Make "Dominion of New England" a top-level domain.
  • Create a region "New England, United States" and redirect "Dominion of New England" there.

--Pkeegstra 15:34, 20 November 2012 (EST)

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